Steve Blackledge, BuckeyeXtra.com

Steve Blackledge

BuckeyeXtra.com

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Recent:
  • The Columbus Dispatch
  • BuckeyeXtra.com
Past:
  • IndeOnline.com
  • CantonRep.com
  • ThisWeekNEWS

Recent articles by Steve:

Small-school star Evan Ulrich follows dream to Ohio State

When he straps on his catcher’s mask as a member of Ohio State’s baseball team next season, Buckeye Valley senior Evan Ulrich vows not to → Read More

Small-school star Evan Ulrich follows dream to Ohio State

When he straps on his catcher’s mask as a member of Ohio State’s baseball team next season, Buckeye Valley senior Evan Ulrich vows not to forget where he came from and how he got there.“I want to be a person that young, budding players from small towns and small schools look up to,” Ulrich said. “I want them to realize that no matter where you come from and how undersized you might be, people… → Read More

Small-school star Evan Ulrich follows dream to OSU

When he straps on his catcher’s mask as a member of Ohio State’s baseball team next season, Buckeye Valley senior Evan Ulrich vows not to forget where he came from and how he got there.“I want to be a person that young, budding players from small towns and small schools look up to,” Ulrich said. “I want them to realize that no matter where you come from and how undersized you might be, people… → Read More

High school basketball shot clock plan nixed

The National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations has shot down a proposal to mandate a 35-second shot clock in boys and girls basketball, → Read More

Players say team aspect makes high school tennis season special

With just a net separating players from one another, tennis is viewed by many as the ultimate individual sport.Good luck trying to convince high school → Read More

Beechcroft sprinter Makiya Montgomery suffering through long layoff before college debut

Makiya Montgomery is an elite sprinter, but she hasn’t been able to showcase her speed for a long time.The Beechcroft senior last raced nearly a year ago when she captured Division II state track titles in the 100 and 200 meters on June 1 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. She also powered the Cougars’ 800 relay team to a third-place finish.With spring sports canceled because of the coronavirus… → Read More

Ohio girls basketball state tournament moving to Dayton

The girls state basketball tournament is headed from Columbus to Dayton beginning next March.The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday → Read More

Ohio girls basketball state tournament moving to Dayton, OHSAA says

The Ohio High School Athletic Association on Tuesday announced that it has signed a three-year deal with the University of Dayton beginning in 2021 to → Read More

Softball just comes naturally to Ohio State signee Emily Ruck

Emily Ruck’s indoctrination into softball seemed like a harsh one, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.“When I was 11 or 12 years old, a girl on our town’s rec team broke her arm and the team was desperate for a player to take her place,” Ruck said. “My parents talked me into it. Honestly, they pushed me into it. You could say I hit the ground running.”Ruck pitched and won that first… → Read More

New Albany High School’s Sokol twins taking different paths in college baseball

There’s not a lot that identical twins Jack and Mike Sokol haven’t experienced together:Learning baseball at age 8 and developing their skills through the New Albany Parks and Recreation system. Honing the art of pitching with personal instructor Joe Snider of D-Bat Columbus. Playing long toss and staging friendly (and not-so-friendly) competitions in a large field behind their backyard.… → Read More

Veteran high school spring sports coaches miss their players, daily routines

Spring is supposed to be a time of manicuring and lining playing fields, adjusting heights on hurdles, sweeping courts, filling out lineup cards and praying for no rain.High school coaches have a relatively small but intense two-month window in which to bring out the best of their teams and individuals.The coronavirus pandemic has changed all of that. Schools and sports are shut down because of… → Read More

Area early-enrollee football players say brief college stay was worth it

Te-Rah Edwards had a game plan in mind when he completed his classwork at Groveport before Christmas and enrolled early at Northwestern on Jan. 6. → Read More

Ohio Wesleyan to begin $4 million renovation of Branch Rickey Arena

When Mike DeWitt played basketball at Ohio Wesleyan from 1983 to 1987, Branch Rickey Arena was regarded as one of the most dazzling, modern facilities in → Read More

Coronavirus | Strong senior season can be springboard to college

As a longtime coach and school administrator, Scott Reeves offered a broader perspective on the importance of high school sports to participants. → Read More

Coronavirus | Spring sports shutdown deals blow to high school seniors seeking college scholarships

Eager to wow prospective college programs, Ira Graham planned for this track and field season to be, in his words, “my redemption year. → Read More

Conor Becker of Northmor, coach Joe Robinson of Pleasant lead All-Metro wrestling team

Only 13 wrestlers spanning all three divisions in Ohio compiled a perfect record this season before the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of → Read More

VonCameron Davis of Walnut Ridge, coach David Dennis of Harvest Prep top All-Metro boys basketball team

When David Dennis graduated from Tiffin University in 1993, he was a lost soul.“I always figured I was going to play pro basketball,” Dennis said with a laugh. “When it become apparent that those dreams and aspirations weren’t going to happen, I had to do some soul searching.”Dennis worked at a hotel in the food and beverage industry for a few years before he realized that this wasn’t his life’s… → Read More

Olentangy Orange’s Taryn Martin tops All-Metro girls wrestling team

Taryn Martin of Olentangy Orange was selected wrestler of the year on the inaugural Dispatch All-Metro girls wrestling team by a panel of area coaches. → Read More

Edyn Battle of Gahanna, JR Shumate of Newark top All-Metro girls basketball team

Edyn Battle broke Gahanna’s single-season and career scoring records and won a bushel of postseason honors during a tremendous senior basketball season.But Battle’s greatest satisfaction was being part of the Lions’ unprecedented team success.“My senior year was by far the best year as a team and individually,” the 5-foot-7 guard said. “We took huge strides, we did a lot more team bonding and… → Read More

Petrella youngest sons end family’s run of Hartley wrestling excellence

The coronavirus pandemic not only wiped out the state wrestling tournament March 13 to 15, but it also closed the book on an amazing family legacy.Hartley → Read More